Potential ebola cure – HIV Anti-viral drug


There may be a cure for Ebola.

This doctor in Africa used an HIV anti-viral and got a dramatic result. From a roughly 70% natural mortality, he dropped it to 13%. What is more, for those given the drug in the first 5 days or so of symptoms ( if I’ve read the ‘when’ part right) the mortality was zero.

Yes, zero mortality if given as soon as you have symptoms.

The drug is lamivudine. Also known as heptovir.


This needs more wide spread awareness.

(FWIW, this is the first ever posting I’ve gotten done using my tablet and small keyboard. I’ll be getting a real computer ‘soon’ and returning to electronic life more fully… This is just too painful for cut / paste / edit / typing…)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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30 Responses to Potential ebola cure – HIV Anti-viral drug

  1. Simon Derricutt says:

    Great news, and it makes you wonder about the connection between Ebola and Aids. We know Ebola has been sitting in the wild for a long time even though it’s possibly unlikely that we’ll know for how long and how many people actually died. As a disease adapts to living in humans, it normally gets less fatal – if everyone dies then it doesn’t spread very far, and if they get really ill too quickly then they also don’t spread it. It’s possible therefore that the earlier Ebola was 100 fatal, and that we thus never heard of it. Aids, on the other hand, can have people living with it and infectious for years – very well adapted.

    I also wonder why the doctor tried it. Maybe he had no other drugs around and wanted to give a patient at least something, or maybe he saw a connection and gave it a try on the grounds it couldn’t be any worse than letting the patient die from Ebola. Good call, either way.

  2. philjourdan says:

    With the policies of this administration, it will get a lot more testing. Hopefully it is as good as tested.

  3. j ferguson says:

    we think we’ve correlated drops in loquacity among our friends with their conversion to tablets. I finally realized that the reason many see nothing beyond the first sentence in an email is that they are reading it on their smartphones.


  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    Virus are fairly simple things, really. Many things can curtail their replication and give the body’s defenses a chance to get the upper hand. I take L-Lysine to change amino acid balance against virus replication such as in colds, flu and shingles. It certainly speeds clearing them up. pg

  5. omanuel says:

    Thanks for this encouraging news!

  6. hillbilly33 says:

    Nice yo see you back, Chiefio, even if in limited form! On your encouraging Ebola news, cue the various medical experts the MSM will now find who will say it won’t work: it hasn’t been clinically tested; sample too small, etc.,etc. Let’s hope the more enlightened researchers will pursue it.

  7. omanuel says:

    The Ebola scare may have arrived just as the AGW scare has been destroyed:

    Definitive data settled AGW debate


  8. A C Osborn says:

    It is looking more and more like they are really going to need it.
    The spread of the ebola virus appears to have reached the “blade of the hockey stick”, but this is a real one not an MM construct.
    Whereas past outbreaks have been quarantined and burnt out this one is way past that stage.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    At present it is a 3 week doubling. Until that ends, we are in deep doo… So mark your calendars and check on about 10/25. 6000 dead. 12000 infected. 2 new in the EU. One new on a new continent. 8 imported to the USA for treatment and 2 more flown in. Likely the first contact case in the usa too. As soon as it is flat for 3 weeks, it will be ending.

  10. thingadonta says:

    Ebola could be eradicated but isn’t due to poverty. Most Africans cant afford aspirin let along an anti viral drug. It’s expensive.

    Ebola isn’t like Malaria in that it is transmitted by mosquitos. It isn’t transmitted by air like the flu. It is actually quite easy, under good health infrastructure, to contain it. If Africa’s health system infrastructure was even marginally better, Ebola might be an historical disease.

    Africa needs to develop substantially, otherwise this cycle of rich nations band-aiding problems when they arise will just tend to recur. The change has to come from within.

    There isn’t an easy way for Africa to develop its health infrastructure either, rampant corruption, poor governance, brutal poverty, civil wars, etc etc. These all create an ideal platform for diseases like Ebola to spread in the first place.

    Mind you, things are generally better than they were, there are good indications that Africa is improving, albeit quite slowly. Most measures of health and human prosperity are increasing in Africa, again, rather slowly, and some places are still going backwards (eg Somalia).

  11. Power Grab says:

    I wonder if this is the pre-election “October surprise”.

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I think your estimation is correct. The world is beginning to isolate central Africa.to slow the spread to other areas. The CDC is not happy with this idea as it greatly slows their ability to bring people back to the US. There is one interesting development from this. The Liberal talking heads are choosing up sides on this issue. It is easy to be a Liberal Progressive when spending other peoples money. But, much harder to be PC when your own life is threatened. Reality is intruding on their wishful thinking. pg

  13. punmaster52 says:

    pg, you can’t possibly be suggesting the LibProgs care about their own lives so long as they can Make The World A Better Place For Their Fellow Man? I simply must sit down to take that in!

  14. Verity Jones says:

    It’s about ~10 days from first infection to onset of symptoms (fever) and from then perhaps a day or so before isolation, during which the patient is infectious and passes on to others….who then take ~10 days to show symptoms. Three weeks for doubling is a good measure.

    @Simon Derricutt
    I don’t think you mean there is any actual connection between Aids (well, HIV) and Ebola, but the surmise about adaptation is probably spot on.

    The doctor would have tried it as the mode of action of the drug is well enough known for it to be worth trying. This type of drug can be used against hepatitis, herpes and HIV. These viruses have their genetic material as DNA whereas Ebola uses RNA.

    The Lamivudine molecule is very similar in structure to one of the molecules (cytidine) that is used to build DNA (and RNA). Once it is modified by the body (phosphorylated) it can attach to the enzymes that allow viruses to reproduce themselves by unzipping the DNA ‘ladder’ and making copies. The enzymes move along the half of the unzipped ladder reading the code and adding molecules in a chain to rebuild the other halves of the ladder, making two copies.

    Because the drug molecule is SLIGHTLY different it inhibits the proper function of the enzyme.
    Think of pop beads: http://www.ssww.com/item/big-bag-pop-beads-BE1278/ as the molecules. The drug looks the same as the other beads and can be attached to the other beads in the chain by the enzyme, but the ‘male’ part of the bead is a different shape that is different enough to prevent joining to the ‘female’part of the next bead, so the chain cannot grow any longer and replication is stopped. This type of drug is an antimetabolite and acts as a “chain terminator”. This action slows down the spread of the virus from cell to cell, and gives the body’s own defences time to win the battle.

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    A great deal more “attitude adjustment” is coming….

    I’ve been doing a bit of research…. There is documented spread of Ebola via mist (i.e. sneezing and coughing) and via the conjunctiva. That is, the “wet contact” mantra is BS. Yeah, it likes that most, but one good wet sneeze a couple a feet away is enough.

    More troublesome: There are at least 8 (in addition to humans) animals or groups that can get the disease. Some, like other primates, tend to die from it. Others, like dogs, tend to recover but can spread it while asymptomatic. Some, like antelope, can be infected with ‘wet contact’ but have no natural history of the disease. Then there are the groups like pigs and rodents where it isn’t well known what happens. (In bats, it looks like it is in the natural home so doesn’t kill the bat, just lets it be a reservoir and vector).

    Now the problem is this:

    What happens when an ebola victim is newly arrived and “has a cold”. Goes to the park, and leaves a bit of sandwich under the bench, or upchucks in the bushes. Some nice rodents (rats, mice, whatever) get it, share it around, and now it is endemic in the USA….

    Or just like on TV, that guy who was hosing the ebola patient vomit into the gutter and down the drain. What if rats can host it just fine? How about fleas and mosquitos from that dog?




    There is just WAY too much hubris about “control” of what this virus can and will do. They are completely ignoring animal vectors, completly ignoring the evidence for sporadic ‘non wet’ spread, completely ignoring all those ‘unexplained’ transmissions; then flying hoards of infected or potentially infected people all over the place.

    They need a 1 month isoloation ward for folks returning from work in the area.
    They need to NOT bring any known infected person into any country.
    They need to set up a military full on CBW (with emphasis on the B ) warfare MASH field hospital anywhere they intend to land a support medical staff.
    They need to STOP moving anyone from wherever they were found to be infected. Quaranteen and treat in place, followed by full disinfect and / or burn to the ground.

    And probably most important, they need to shut down air links out of any location with known spread of infection. (Soon to include Spain and Dallas…)

    Oh, and FWIW, I did find a reference to using sliver nano particles to inactivate virus and treat Ebola… Not as good as the anti-virals, IMHO, but nice to know of as a ‘field expedient’ if it comes to that. Keep a silver coin and some acid handy….

  16. Verity – thanks for the technical data. I was in fact thinking that maybe HIV and Ebola had the same parent since the HIV virus has recently been traced to 1920s Kinshasa (now Congo) which is much the same location. Could have been a connection….

    We might see cultural differences affecting the rate of spread. The double-kiss of French and Latin culture is going to be a better transmission vector than the dry British handshake or the US knocking of knuckles. As EM says, though, a good wet sneeze will do pretty well, too.

  17. E.M.Smith says:


    Personally, I intend to adopt the polite wave from the other side of the room…. ;-)

    Viruses mutate fast. You can get significant adaptation to selective pressure in about 30 generations (general rule of thumb for all sorts of species). IF this can be applied to viruses, then consider that a virus generation can be a few hours…. So the virus you have at the end of a week might not be quite the same one as you started with…. This, BTW, is why you need a new Flu shot each year. The “mix” is different. (Though for flu, it is the ‘3 way’ swap between pigs, birds, and occasionally horses or people that does the biggest remix…) Flu runs a LOT faster due to the remix effect (as opposed to codon mutation rates) but the idea is similar.

    It looks like Ebola came from a common ancestor with Marburg:


    but significantly different from HIV:

    HIV is a member of the genus Lentivirus,[7] part of the family Retroviridae.[8] Lentiviruses have many morphologies and biological properties in common. Many species are infected by lentiviruses, which are characteristically responsible for long-duration illnesses with a long incubation period.[9] Lentiviruses are transmitted as single-stranded, positive-sense, enveloped RNA viruses.

    while for Ebola: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease

    The genera Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus were originally classified as the species of the now-obsolete Filovirus genus. In March 1998, the Vertebrate Virus Subcommittee proposed in the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) to change the Filovirus genus to the Filoviridae family with two specific genera: Ebola-like viruses and Marburg-like viruses. This proposal was implemented in Washington, DC, on April 2001 and in Paris on July 2002. In 2000, another proposal was made in Washington, D.C., to change the “-like viruses” to “-virus” resulting in today’s Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus.[52]

    Rates of genetic change are 100 times slower than influenza A in humans, but on the same magnitude as those of hepatitis B. Extrapolating backwards using these rates indicates that ebolaviruses and marburgviruses diverged several thousand years ago.[53] However, paleoviruses (genomic fossils) of filoviruses (Filoviridae) found in mammals indicate that the family itself is at least tens of millions of years old.[54] Fossilized viruses that are closely related to ebolaviruses have been found in the genome of the Chinese hamster.[55]

  18. Power Grab says:

    Re the comment about silver – So I should start using my real silver flatware?

    How would I use the silver with acid? Are we talking about something like vinegar? fatty acids?

  19. sabretoothed says:

    Personally I think most of the transmission is coming from eating bush meat and the aid workers eat at restaurants and probably don’t know they are eating it.

    Vit C and Eboli http://vitamincfoundation.org/www.orthomed.com/ebola.htm

  20. Jason Calley says:

    Here is some evidence that a selenium deficiency may make ebola infection much more deadly.

    The liposomal selenium may be worth thinking about.

  21. Jason Calley says:

    @ Power Grab
    Concerning the colloidal silver for ebola, I have never used nor made colloidal silver, but will certainly consider it. Here is a bare bones page on making your own at home. Note that you can use three 9V batteries for power.

    If you do decide to make your own, do not use silver flatware or silver coins. They are both generally alloys and contain other metals as well as silver. Try to use at least 99.9% silver.

  22. power grab says:

    @Jason: Thanks.

    Would 100 year old silverware also be an alloy?

  23. Jason Calley says:

    Hey power grab!
    Probably so — most coins and silverware are alloyed to make them harder than pure silver. In fact, a lot of silverware used to be made of melted down coins for just that reason. If you look at the flatware it might even be stamped “coin silver”. Note though, that in the first sentence I said “most coins”. There are exceptions; the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is VERY pure, 99.99%! It is bought primarily by people who want to buy silver, and was never really designed to be circulated, so there was no need to alloy it. Similarly, if you get a “silver round”, which is not an official coin, just a one ounce disc minted privately, it will probably be 99.9% pure silver. If I do go ahead and make some colloidal silver (which I might as well, since I already bought a dissolved solids meter (as mentioned in the colloidal silver link)) I will probably just use a silver round or two. Or maybe swing by the coin shop and buy two Canadian Maple Leafs. I would be wary about using flatware though; there is a very good chance you might end up with unwanted copper or who knows what in your product.

  24. Power Grab says:

    @ Jason – Thanks again! Good info.

    I am actually considering switching from using my stainless flatware for eating, to using my silver flatware for eating. That’s even more traditional than making colloidal silver, right?

    But since you mentioned it…I think I’ll look into getting a “silver round” or Canadian Maple Leafs (leaves?). We don’t have coin shops around here. Would pawn shops be likely to have such things?

  25. philjourdan says:

    @Power Grab – if it is the surprise, it is a very stupid one. People do not want to be scared and then told “never mind”.

  26. Power Grab says:

    @ philjourdan: Indeed. :-(

    Well, I picked up some silver items to day and some 9v batteries. :-)

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    Silver halides can be reduced to metalic silver with organic compounds. Think photo paper. So with a silver round and pool acid you get silver chloride. Reduced, floculent silver. (Ignoring specific details). Too much, you turn permanently blue! Argyria.

    More on silver here:


    Water stored in silver is purified (bugs die), but flatware doesnt do much.

    It really is something of a last resort…

    Better to just be a hermit for a few months once we hit about 1000 cases in the USA.

  28. Pingback: The Exponential of Ebola Rolls On | Musings from the Chiefio

  29. Lakeshia says:

    I thnk that this is great, but I thnk that we need to also develope a cure for hiv we can find drugs for everthng else hiv is killing alot of people daily too!!!!

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